Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig's weekly update:
Crosswalk Modification on North Coast Hwy. at Jasmine St. - Caltrans has a project to modify the “in-roadway flashing crosswalk” at this location. The modifications include enhanced striping and an overhead pedestrian crossing sign for added visibility. The work began last week and is scheduled to be completed by March 1st. The flashing crosswalk lights are disabled while the work is being done.
Broadway Streetscape Construction - Construction will begin Monday, March 4, on streetscape improvements on Broadway between Forest Avenue and Cliff Drive. The project includes new decorative sidewalk, drought tolerant and native landscaping, water conscious irrigation, and three installations of public art. The intersection at Cliff Drive will be reconfigured to reduce the speed of vehicles turning onto Cliff Drive and to shorten the pedestrian crosswalk distance. Working hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be lane closures on Broadway between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., while two-way traffic will be maintained at all times. Occasionally, access to Cliff Drive or Acacia Drive from Broadway will be restricted during working hours. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of May. The project is funded by the City of Laguna Beach and a federal transportation enhancement grant.
Temporary Sculpture Program - The Arts Commission is currently accepting proposals for a temporary art installation on Forest Avenue. Designs should incorporate the interior and/or exterior of the red telephone booth with the door securely closed. Winning artists will be provided an honorarium of $2,000. Deadline for proposals is March 18, 2013. This opportunity is open to artists residing in Orange County. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Competition guidelines are available by clicking here.
Lifeguard Headquarters Art in Public Places - The Arts Commission is currently accepting artist qualifications for a sculpture and mural for the Lifeguard Headquarters at Main Beach Park. An artist honorarium of $60,000 is allocated for the sculpture and $40,000 for the mural. This opportunity is open to artists residing in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Applications must be submitted on-line by March 4, 2013 at this link. Competition guidelines are available by clicking here.
2013 Banner Competition - The Arts Commission is currently accepting designs for the annual Banner Competition. Designs should be submitted with a 4” in width by 16” in length format accompanied with a resume and photographs of previously related work. Winning designs will be painted by the artist on 4’ by 16’ canvas banners and displayed on lampposts throughout the city during the summer season. Winning artists will receive an honorarium of $2,000. Deadline for designs is March 18, 2013. The program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Competition guidelines are available by clicking here.
Police Department Hires Two New Officers - After a lengthy selection process the Police Department has hired two new officers: Michael Lee who has worked for the department as a booking officer and jailer has demonstrated his enthusiasm and adaptability in a difficult position. Michael completed his basic police academy training in 2011 at Golden West College and his time has come to take on a greater challenge as a police officer. Carrie Kaster served as both a police officer with the Monterey Police Department and for the State Parks Department. She holds her Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Humboldt State. The City of Monterey shares many of the same policing issues as Laguna, so Carrie should be a good fit.
The following are the City Council priorities identified during the City Council retreat on January 26, 2013.
City Council Priorities for 2013
#1 Priority: Village Entrance - The City Council established this as the highest priority for the next year and requested a special City Council meeting that will be held March 26 to receive presentations from the subcommittee of Councilmembers Pearson and Iseman regarding the project.
View Preservation Ordinance - The City Council has requested a status report within three months regarding the options to improve view preservation ordinances.
Economic Development - The City Council subcommittee regarding Business Assistance is to provide the City Council with options to retain and attract businesses and further develop the City's economy.
Parking Management Plan - The plan should be completed this year and be incorporated into efforts to revise the Downtown Specific Plan.
Increase and Improve Community Based policing efforts - The City will consider reinstituting full-time downtown/beach foot patrols.
Laguna Canyon Road Analysis - Staff will work with Councilmember Whalen to present an agenda bill to the City Council regarding an analysis of possible future improvements to Laguna Canyon road in coordination with Caltrans and other agencies. The report will also consider the benefits of such an analysis to coordinate future Laguna Canyon Road improvements with other improvements in the downtown and to identify future funding opportunities.
Transit Financing Program - Report back to the City Council regarding options to fund transit and trolley programs while reducing the impact on the Parking Fund.
Disaster Preparedness - Continue to identify projects and programs that improve the ability of the City and the community to prepare for, and respond to, future disasters.
Budget - Maintain a balanced budget with adequate reserves to continue the stable provision of City services.
Other Items In Process Emphasized by the City Council:
Open for Business Programs - Continue the "Open for Business" program.
Committee Reports - The City Council would like to continue having the following committees make five-minute reports at a City Council meeting once a year: Environmental; Heritage; Housing and Human Services; Parking, Traffic and Circulation; Recreation; and Telecommunications.
System to View City Records On-line- Replace the system by June 2013.
Review of Vision Laguna 2030 Plan - Councilmember Dicterow was appointed to the subcommittee along with Councilmember Pearson. A report is expected within a few months.
Forest/Third Intersection - Analyze the effectiveness of the pilot program to use of part-time personnel to direct traffic during high impact weekends.
Complete Streets - Continue efforts to improve streets in a marmer which encourages the use of the streets by pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users.
Maintain and Enhance the Infrastructure - Ensure that priority is given to maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure.
Sidewalks along Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road - Continue the efforts to develop plans to create contiguous sidewalks along these major points of ingress and egress to the community.
Animal Shelter Parking Lot - Pursue the replacement of the chain link fencing around the parking lot with a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to deter pets from running on to Laguna Canyon Road. Bring forth proposals to replace the parking lot with permeable paving in conjunction with the project to permanently improve the creek in front of the animal shelter.
Transfer from Parking Fund to General Fund - Strive to reduce the transfer from the Parking Fund to the General Fund.
Undergrounding Utility Poles and Lines - Identify programs and funding to underground utility poles lines on Laguna Canyon Road, Coast Highway, and other arterial and collector streets necessary to service or evacuate the community in a timely manner during or following a disaster.
Aliso Creek - Continue to work on solutions to improve the water quality at the end of Aliso Creek and identify additional options to discharge recycled water.